2018 NFL draft: Steelers take Ben Roetlisberger heir apparent; Best remaining players

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +


The 2018 NFL draft is underway. Keep up with all the latest news, rumors and selections with live pick-by-pick analysis from national NFL writer Mark Maske and draft analyst John Harris.

The 2018 NFL Draft

• News and rumors: The Cleveland Browns started the second round of the NFL draft by selecting Nevada offensive lineman Austin Corbet, while the New York Giants chose UTEP guard Will Hernandez.

Running backs were also en vogue early in Round 2, with both Nick Chubb of Georgia and Ronald Jones of USC coming off the board in the first five picks, going to Cleveland and Tampa Bay, respectively.

One running back who did not go early was LSU’s Derrius Guice, who fell to the Redskins at No. 59 overall, despite being regarded as one of the top running backs in the draft by most talent evaluators.

Another notable development came in the early stages of Round 3 when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph. With Ben Roethlisberger previously questioning how much longer he wants to play, it appears Rudolph will have a chance to succeed Roethlisberger as the Steelers’ starter. (Read more)

• Best remaining players for Day 2: A breakdown of the best prospects left on the board at the start of Round 2. (Read more)

• Round 1 analysis: Breaking down the first round from a team-fit and scouting perspective. (Read more)

• Draft prep: Study up on the key figures and story lines that figure to shape the 2018 draft. (Read more)

Looking for more Redskins draft coverage? Click here.

***

LATEST DAY 2 NEWS AND RUMORS

Steelers snag Big Ben’s replacement?: In Round 3, the Pittsburgh Steelers took Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph, the first time they’ve taken a QB this early in the draft since selecting Big Ben from Miami University in 2004.

Roethlisberger, 36, has hinted that he may be heading to retirement in the near future. If that’s the case, Pittsburgh added a solid buffer with a prospect some evaluators believed could have been selected in the first round of this draft.

Browns’ surprising selections continue in Day 2: With many pundits preferring UTEP guard Will Hernandez as the top offensive line prospect left on the board at the start of Round 2, Cleveland instead opted for Nevada’s Austin Corbet. The Giants then snatched up Hernandez with the second pick. The Browns, owners of four of the top 34 picks of the draft, then added to their haul with Georgia running back Nick Chubb, a dominant runner before a knee injury sidelined him during his college career.

Eagles trade up as kicker trolls Cowboys: Philadelphia traded out of the first round, but on Day 2, the Eagles made a splash … and they did it with a kicker.

The reigning Super Bowl champions traded up, one spot ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, to select tight end Dallas Goedert out of South Dakota State. And David Akers made sure the pick was made in the best way possible. (Read More)

Derrius Guice ends up with Redskins: Thought by some talent evaluators to be the top running back remaining on the draft board, three different RBs were selected ahead of LSU’s  Derrius Guice in Round 2. The Redskins — who stated previously they would target a running back in the draft — traded out of their pick when they had a chance to select him at No. 44, but ultimately took him at No. 59 after trading back in the second round.

The slide even prompted a TMZ producer to tweet out a note that they did not have some sort of dirt on the LSU runner. (Read more)

ROUND 1 ANALYSIS

The Post breaks down the first round from a team-fit and scouting perspective. National NFL writer Mark Maske and Post draft analyst John Harris review every selection.

Previous picks

1. Cleveland Browns

Team needs: QB, offensive line, defensive line, CB, RB

Pick: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The Browns take a chance on Baker Mayfield, the polarizing Heisman Trophy winner, over Sam Darnold, who probably would have been the safer pick, and Josh Allen, the most physically talented quarterback in the group. Mayfield’s size was a concern to some. So, too, were his on- and off-field behavioral issues. But he can make the throws. He was wildly productive in college. He clearly has leadership skills. It’s a bold move by John Dorsey, the new GM of the Browns. The success of his tenure could depend on the outcome of this selection. Now the Browns, who have veteran Tyrod Taylor to serve as their temporary starter, must cross their fingers and hope that it works out. — Maske

What he brings: Outside of his height (and a myriad of off field issues/dramas), he has every asset you’d want in an NFL quarterback. Of course, it’s those issues that have caused evaluators to second guess him. He’s a true competitor and leader, perhaps too emotional at times.

He has a quick release, throws off platform exceptionally well but will have to decipher what signals an open receiver in the NFL, where windows are much smaller than what he enjoyed in college. — Harris

2. New York Giants

Team needs: QB, RB, offensive line, pass rusher, CB

Pick: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The Giants decide to help Eli Manning for what’s left of his NFL career rather than put his eventual replacement on the roster. They leave quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen on the board for the Jets at No. 3. Barkley could develop into a Pro Bowl runner pretty quickly. But will Dave Gettleman, the Giants’ new GM, regret this when Manning retires and there’s no franchise quarterback in sight? — Maske

What he brings: The best running back in this draft class, he also added kickoff returns to his plate in 2017 and had two runbacks for touchdowns. Barkley accounted for 24 touchdowns as a junior. For all of the accolades, he had seven games of 75 or fewer yards rushing. Now, he was the focus of every defense he faced, but that’s a bit of an alarming number. He rushed for 100-plus yards in only 15 of 38 games … am I nitpicking? Perhaps, because I love Barkley but the hype is a bit out of control.

He is built like a tank … legs, neck, thick cut and impressive all the way back to his days in high school.

Barkley is an outstanding receiver out of the backfield, but doesn’t have glue sticks for hands. Laterally, he’s as quick and elusive as any running back in this and many other draft classes. — Harris

3. New York Jets (from Indianapolis)

Team needs: QB, RB, defensive line, offensive line

Pick: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Things worked out extremely well for the Jets after their blockbuster pre-draft trade in which they sent a trio of second-round picks, two of them this year, to the Colts to move up three spots in the first-round order. They were fortunate when the Browns and Giants left them with their choice of Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen. They made the right move and went with Darnold, probably the safest pick in this celebrated draft class of quarterbacks—and probably the quarterback who should have gone first overall to Cleveland. — Maske

What he brings: He has prototype size for an NFL quarterback and ice water in his veins. His mechanics aren’t perfect, as he has a long arm motion and takes a while to get the ball out of his hands, although his release was a bit quicker in 2017 in his second year as a starter. He doesn’t always see the defense properly, but  what makes him a difference maker at the next level is his ability to complete throw in the 2017 Rose Bowl. You may recall a seam pass for a touchdown over two defenders, in between two safeties for game tying touchdown against Texas NFL talent evaluators certainly did. — Harris

4. Cleveland Browns (from Houston)

Team needs: QB, offensive line, defensive line, CB, RB

Pick: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

The Browns, even with a new regime and a new GM in John Dorsey, are still the Browns. They could have taken Bradley Chubb to pair with Myles Garrett as book-end pass rushers. Instead, they go with cornerback Denzel Ward. The Browns clearly are better than they were when the night began. They clearly are a step closer to being competitive. But Baker Mayfield and Ward instead of Sam Darnold and Chubb? It’s difficult to believe that the Browns maximized the value of these picks. — Maske

What he brings: Arguably the best cornerback in this draft, Ward has track speed and was one of the fastest Buckeyes in recent memory. He ran a 4.31 on campus in the spring of 2017. He is long-armed and never appears to panic. He was the equal of star rookie Marshon Lattimore (selected by the Saints).

He will come up and strike ball-carriers in support of the run, but doesn’t pack a wallop. He can be versatile in a scheme too, lining up in the slot, on a tight end, wide on a lone receiver. He is a solid defensive back to say the least. — Harris

5. Denver Broncos

Team needs: QB, offensive line, CB, pass rusher

Pick: Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State

The Broncos pass up the chance to take a quarterback of the future and go with Bradley Chubb, a pass rusher to pair with Von Miller. This is a step toward keeping the Denver defense dominant. And the Broncos have a quarterback-for-now in free agent addition Case Keenum. But they haven’t solidified their quarterback situation long-term. — Maske

What he brings: Impressive movement skills for a guy 275 pounds. His quickness on inside moves is quite impressive and he makes the most of a powerful upper body. He plays the game with a chip on his shoulder and is never satisfied with the results. He forced nine fumbles in his final three seasons (he didn’t play often as a freshman) and also had 58.5 tackles for a loss as well in that three year span. Oh, and he had 32 sacks. He reminds me of a more physically impressive Derek Barnett of the Eagles. — Harris

6. Indianapolis Colts (from New York Jets)

Team needs: RB, offensive line, WR, pass rush, LB

Pick: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Taking a guard with the sixth overall pick in the NFL draft generally isn’t done. But the Colts made the right move in getting Quenton Nelson. He was regarded as one of the very best players in this draft and this fortifies Andrew Luck’s offensive line as he returns after missing all of last season following shoulder surgery. Remember, the Colts also have a trio of second-rounders from their pre-draft trade with the Jets as part of their haul for moving down three spots. This was a terrific series of maneuvers by GM Chris Ballard. — Maske

What he brings: As they say in the scouting industry, he’s a total dude. He’s got power, quickness, smarts, you name it. I’d never seen people post videos of offensive linemen on Twitter until Nelson. I’ve also never seen a college lineman hold off 300-pound pass rushers with a long arm stab move, in reverse.

He will finish a defender in a quick minute, stays on his feet and is only very rarely on the ground. He’s perhaps the best guard prospect that I can remember studying. When I think of comparables, I see Alan Faneca and Steve Hutchinson. — Harris

7. Buffalo Bills

Team needs: QB, offensive line, WR, defensive line

Pick: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The Bills were sufficiently enamored with Josh Allen’s potential to trade up to get him. They were not dissuaded by the racially offensive comments on Allen’s Twitter account when he was a high schooler, for which Allen apologized after they were reported the night before the draft. Allen has a breathtaking arm and good athleticism for a guy his size. He could be the next Carson Wentz. But he was a 56 percent passer as a college starter, and he could be the next JaMarcus Russell-style draft bust. The Bills have taken a huge chance. — Maske

What he brings: Tools? He has them all. Size, arm strength, mobility, confidence … he can also throw his team right out of a game with his inconsistency. Accuracy and ball placement are problems, but when he sets his feet, he can make any throw on the field. At 6-foot-5, 247 pounds, he’s prototype size. — Harris

8. Chicago Bears

Team needs: Offensive line, defensive line, LB

Pick: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

The Bears help their defense by getting Roquan Smith. He’s a very good all-around linebacker and a solid addition. It’s interesting that the Bears could not interest anyone in trading up for Josh Rosen, though. — Maske

What he brings: This guy can fly sideline to sideline. That immediately popped off the screen on his film. He deciphers and reads blocking schemes and assignments well, and the dude can run.

He’s also slippery and difficult to block and he tackled everything that moved, leading Georgia in tackles in 2016 and 2017. — Harris

9. San Francisco 49ers

Team needs: Pass rusher, offensive line, WR, CB, LB

Pick: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

The 49ers re-signed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a huge contract earlier this offseason, and they make a move to protect their investment in Garoppolo by taking Mike McGlinchey ninth overall. It’s never a bad idea to improve your offensive line, but this might have been just a little bit high to take McGlinchey. That makes it two Notre Dame offensive linemen in the top 10. — Maske

What he brings: He was a left tackle in college but I’d be a bit surprised if he remains at that position in the NFL. He stands too upright and speed rushers, with any type of speed, gave him some issues. Technically, he looks the part and has a fundamentally perfect kick step. He doesn’t shy from contact and will be physical at first strike, but loses leverage on contact. He’s a solid player but he may need to be a right tackle or a guard in the future. — Harris

10. Arizona Cardinals (from Oakland)

Team needs: QB, offensive line, defensive line, CB, RB

PickJosh Rosen, QB, UCLA

The Cardinals make it a record four quarterbacks in the top 10 by trading up to take Josh Rosen. He’ll probably sit and wait his turn behind Sam Bradford (and, possibly, Mike Glennon if Bradford gets hurt). But Rosen perhaps was the most polished quarterback available in this draft, and he should be ready to play relatively early in his career. The questioning of his passion for football was silly. This was a good move by the Cardinals, who presumably believed they had to get ahead of the Dolphins at No. 11. — Maske

What he brings: When he was a senior in high school, I was convinced he would be the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL draft, well not quite. Mechanically, he’s outstanding. He just looks the part of an NFL quarterback in every way, shape and/or form. He’s a tough dude, but he’s taken a ton of hits. Off the field, he’s going to be, uh, interesting, for lack of a better word. Elite 11 instructor Trent Dilfer didn’t care for Rosen’s attitude. If he doesn’t vibe with the Cardinals’ staff, it could be a lot of trouble. If he does, it could be a sweet, long marriage. — Harris

11. Miami Dolphins

Team needs: WR, QB, LB, CB, offensive line, defensive line, TE

Pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama

The Dolphins could have made it five quarterbacks in 11 picks if they’d taken Lamar Jackson to be Ryan Tannehill’s eventual replacement. Instead, they fortify their secondary by selecting Minkah Fitzpatrick. It’s a reasonable move. He is a top-10 talent. The only issue is whether he’s better suited to playing cornerback or safety in the NFL. — Maske

What he brings: Fitzpatrick has playmaking abilities at any secondary position. He has the requisite size to play any spot and he’ll hit. He has impressive length, is physical at the point of attack, reads/deciphers routes, has a high football IQ and loves to study the game. What’s more he has excellent hands and  ran 4.45 last spring. His lack of true position is both an asset (versatility) and a liability. He has played perimeter cornerback, safety and nickel in his three years and made plays at all three positions. — Harris

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Buffalo)

Team needs: Offensive line, RB, defensive line, CB

Pick: Vita Vea, DT, Washington

The Buccaneers, after trading down, bolster the middle of their defensive line by selecting Vita Vea. He’s a decent value at No. 12, and the Bucs added additional picks in the trade with the Bills. They did reasonably well, given that they had no need to stay in the top 10 and weren’t interested in a quarterback. The Redskins were thought to be interested in Vea at No. 13. — Maske

What he brings: Vea’s level of athleticism, for a guy this big, is insane. Vea covered punts at 325 pounds and made tackles too. He is the consummate two-gap nose tackle in a 3-4 defensive scheme. His interest in the game and intensity can wane, but he’s strong as an ox. — Harris

13. Washington Redskins

Team needs: Defensive line, CB, offensive line

Pick: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

The Redskins apparently were intent upon taking a defensive tackle. They get Da’Ron Payne after Vita Vea went to Tampa a pick earlier. Payne is a very good player and this clearly fills a major need. But would adding a centerpiece runner in Derrius Guice have been a better way to go? — Maske

What he brings: Payne has difference-making power. He is as strong as any interior defensive lineman in college football, with strong hands and the ability to shed blockers. He can play any interior position in any scheme. His speed is impressive; he can fly to the football and pursues the carrier with bad intentions. He’s not going to be a tremendous pass-rush threat but does win with power and a club move. — Harris

14. New Orleans Saints (from Green Bay)

Team needs: TE, LB, QB, pass rusher

Pick: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

That is an odd move by the Saints. They trade up 13 spots in the first-round order, surrendering a future first-rounder in the process, to take Marcus Davenport. Yes, Davenport is an intriguing player from a less prominent school. And yes, he could be a productive pass rusher in the NFL. But is his potential worth what the Saints gave up? That’s highly debatable. That’s the kind of move that you make for a quarterback. If the target had been Lamar Jackson because the Saints truly believed in his promise as a quarterback, that would have been different. — Maske

What he brings: His length will create a ton of issues for offensive tackles, but he has to tap into his nasty. He really turned it on when the lights went on. He’s able to combine moves to get to the passer, but he needs to add weight. He’s a former basketball player still finding his way through football, but the potential is there. — Harris

15. Oakland Raiders (from Arizona)

Team needs: CB, pass rusher, WR, offensive line, RB

Pick: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

The Raiders, following their trade-down with the Cardinals, make Kolton Miller the second offensive tackle selected in this opening round, following Mike McGlinchey. It’s a move that quarterback Derek Carr undoubtedly will applaud. — Maske

What he brings: Miller can play either tackle position. He’s got quick feet and slides laterally with twists and stunts very well. And he’s got a nasty gene. He wants to bury defenders in the run game. He plays upright but can bend his knees and be athletic. — Harris

16. Buffalo Bills (from Baltimore)

Team needs: QB, offensive line, WR, defensive line

Pick: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

The Bills trade up for the second time in this opening round, this time for Tremaine Edmunds. He’s very talented and very young, at age 19. He fills a need on the Buffalo defense. But will he be ready to be an immediate contributor? And was it wise for the Bills to trade up to get him? They’d better be right about both Josh Allen and Edmunds, given what it took to move into position to get them. — Maske

What he brings: Freaky athleticism. He played nearly every single linebacker position for Virginia Tech in his career. His explosiveness and speed are his hallmarks, but he doesn’t play off blocks all that well. He needs to learn to do that more effectively heading to the NFL. — Harris

17. Los Angeles Chargers

Team needs: QB, offensive line, defensive line

Pick: Derwin James, S, Florida State

This is an interesting pick by the Chargers. They get a potentially dynamic player in their secondary with safety Derwin James. But they had a desperate need to strengthen the middle of their defensive line. If they come back to that need later in the draft, this will be fine. James could be a difference-maker in the defensive backfield. — Maske

What he brings: An injury in 2016 slowed his ascent and could have played a role in his falling to the second half of the first round, but I thought he was still worthy of high-pick consideration. James has a ruthless desire to knock everyone out in a different color jersey. He was used as a chess piece for Florida State. His versatility is a huge strength. His weakness: He will get easily frustrated and lose focus. — Harris

18. Green Bay Packers (from Seattle)

Team needs: WR, CB

Pick: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

The Packers trade down, then trade up and end up with Jaire Alexander. He is the second cornerback off the board in this draft after Denzel Ward (unless Minkah Fitzpatrick is counted). Green Bay had to address its secondary and this does that. — Maske

What he brings: His absence took him out of the public eye heading into the combine, but when he ran 4.38 at his size, he jumped back into the first-round conversation. He’s confident and when healthy, he made plays I didn’t see other cornerbacks able to make. — Harris

19. Dallas Cowboys

Team needs: WR, defensive line, LB

Pick: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

The Cowboys surprise everyone by taking Leighton Vander Esch. He’s certainly worth a first-round pick. But the Cowboys just released Dez Bryant and they had their pick of any wide receiver, including Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore. This is a move that they could regret if they struggle in the passing game. — Maske

What he brings: Draft analysis has ramped up exponentially over the past decade but no one in the media is privy to the most important information — medical reports. And that’s the biggest factor here. How Vander Esch’s neck injury has healed will dictate a lot of his value. Vander Esch’s agent has emphatically denied any issues, stating he was not asked for further follow-up tests at the combine. On the field, Vander Esch is a 256-pound heat-seeking missile who has his best football in front of him … if he’s healthy. — Harris

20. Detroit Lions

Team needs: TE, pass rusher, RB

Pick: Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas

The Lions address their offensive line by taking Frank Ragnow. It’s not a move that anyone will find particularly exciting, and there were other centers that some thought were better candidates to be first-round picks. But some draft analysts regard Ragnow as a solid player who will be a reliable NFL starter. — Maske

What he brings: One word: Immovable. If he gets locked on in pass protection, you’re going nowhere. He plays with a solid foundation and his athleticism for a center is above average. He moves extremely well and bull rushers can’t move him effectively. He scans to find blitzers well, and has consistent head and hand placement. He just needs to keep working on getting his hips and head on proper side of shade NT. He also needs to get quicker on his combination blocks. — Harris

21. Cincinnati Bengals (from Buffalo)

Team needs: CB, offensive line, RB, QB

Pick: Billy Price, C, Ohio State

The Bengals make it two centers in a row by selecting Billy Price. They continue to rebuild their offensive line after trading for tackle Cordy Glenn. It’s another less-than-glamorous pick but it makes sense for the Bengals. — Maske

What he brings: Tough and versatile, Price played center in 2017 after former teammate Pat Elflein graduated, but he played the majority of his career at guard. Overall, he’s one nasty dude. He has a sound/strong base and moves laterally very well. If he gets you squared up in pass protection, it’s over. — Harris

22. Tennessee Titans (from Baltimore)

Team needs: TE, offensive line, WR, QB

Pick: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

The Titans trade up to get Rashaan Evans. He’s a good value at this point in the first round and he fills a big need on the Tennessee defense. The Titans were a playoff team last season and this should help them as they attempt to remain a contender. — Maske

What he brings: He can rush or play inside and appeared comfortable dropping into coverage. He has great speed moving sideline to sideline, and has fairly natural inside back instincts. He will take on blocks and shed them with strong hands. I’m not sure what his best fit is, position-wise, as he’s still not totally comfortable with all the nuances of inside linebacker just yet. As an edge rusher, he is still like a souped up Energizer Bunny. He gives 10000% (not a typo) and really hasn’t refined his rush technique.  — Harris

23. New England Patriots (from Los Angeles Rams)

Team needs: Pass rusher, WR, QB, LB, offensive line, CB

Pick: Isaiah Wynn, OG/OT, Georgia

The Patriots, with the pick received from the Rams in the Brandin Cooks trade, add to Tom Brady’s offensive line by selecting Isaiah Wynn. He could play guard or tackle, and he figures to compete immediately for significant playing time. The Patriots had a chance to take Lamar Jackson as Brady’s successor-to-be but opted against it. They are set to pick again at No. 31. — Maske

What he brings: Wynn’s length is impressive and he played left tackle for Georgia the past two seasons, but he can play guard. When he’s at guard, from a physical standpoint, he fits and loves to run-block. He generates some intense collisions and he really can move. The more I watch, the more impressed I am with his athleticism. He still needs works on head and hand placement, and needs better initial punch in pass protection. His conditioning can wane and the fatigue shows in his stance, get off and punch. He really opened my eyes with how well he performed at the Senior Bowl. — Harris

24. Carolina Panthers

Team needs: WR, TE, CB

Pick: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland

Wide receivers finally are allowed to participate in this NFL draft. The Panthers, at No. 24, make D.J. Moore the first wideout taken in this opening round. It was a sensible move for Carolina but somewhat interesting that they take Moore over Calvin Ridley. — Maske

What he brings: Voted the top receiver in the Big Ten in 2017, Moore finished with 80 catches for 1,033 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s a big-bodied receiver but under 6-feet. I love the way that he snatches the ball out of the air and when he has the ball in his hands, he’s more running back than receiver. He’s got a different gear when he wants/needs to pull away from defenders. I love his route-running as well. — Harris

25. Baltimore Ravens (from Tennessee)

Team needs: Pass rusher, offensive line, LB

Pick: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

The Ravens trade down twice and still get a great fit for their offense in tight end Hayden Hurst. He should be a useful addition for quarterback Joe Flacco. It’s a good start for the final draft overseen by GM Ozzie Newsome as the Ravens try to get back to the postseason after three straight non-playoff seasons. They did pass over wide receiver Calvin Ridley. — Maske

What he brings: Hurst was once a professional baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, but football is his sport now. I love this guy’s talent and ability to translate to the next level at tight end. He’s a much better in-line blocker than I first anticipated, and his run-after-the-catch skills are impressive. I saw him carry nearly the entire Georgia secondary on a catch and run. And what offense throws bubble screens to a tight end? USC did to Hurst. At his size, he shouldn’t be jostled/disrupted through his routes, yet, it happens on occasion. — Harris

26. Atlanta Falcons

Team needs: Defensive line, WR

Pick: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

The Falcons become the beneficiary of Calvin Ridley’s fall as they take the wide receiver at No. 26. Ridley is the second wideout selected in this draft behind D.J. Moore. He joins fellow Alabama alum Julio Jones in the Falcons’ wide receiver corps. — Maske

What he brings: Ridley is explosive with the ball in his hands, but he also does the little things. He’s willing to mix it up and block on the perimeter. He’s not a guy that jukes defenders regularly, but he can be slippery out in space. I could see him make the move to the slot permanently, a lot like former Vanderbilt star Jordan Matthews. Ridley doesn’t have the best hands but makes tough, clutch catches. I’d be a little worried that he’ll get jostled at the line of scrimmage against physical press man CBs in the NFL. He must use his hands more to free himself from cover corners. — Harris

27. Seattle Seahawks (from Green Bay and New Orleans)

Team needs: CB, safety, WR, TE, offensive line, defensive line

Pick: Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State

The Seahawks make an odd choice by taking Rashaad Penny. They opt for Penny over fellow running backs Derrius Guice and Sony Michel, and they don’t address their obvious needs for a pass rusher and for secondary help on a defense that is in transition. — Maske

What he brings: In only one year as a starter, Penny was dominant. His speed and burst are two of his top traits. He doesn’t dance in the hole, but rather is decisive with a different gear once he gets through the line. He’s not going to embarrass a bunch of space defenders, but he’ll make them miss with his quickness. — Harris

28. Pittsburgh Steelers

Team needs: Safety, LB, QB, RB

Pick: Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech

The Steelers’ pick was remarkable because Ryan Shazier walked across the stage to announce it, and because Terrell Edmunds joins his brother Tremaine in being first-round selections tonight. He fills a need for the Pittsburgh defense. Whether taking him with the No. 28 overall choice was justified remains to be seen. — Maske

What he brings: Unlike his brother, Terrell Edmunds was not in my Top 100 prospects, so this might be a bit of a reach. This is the first time two brothers have both been selected in the first round though. So there’s that. — Harris

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

Team needs: WR, offensive line, QB, LB

Pick: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

The Jaguars add to a major strength by choosing Taven Bryan. Jacksonville’s ridiculously talented defense becomes even more talented. It certainly can be debated whether the Jaguars should have addressed a need instead. — Maske

What he brings: Bryan is a prototypical penetrating three-technique who is extremely quick off the football. He’s got quick and powerful hands and he stacks and sheds on time so that he can get separation and make a tackle on a ball carrier. There are very few offensive linemen who were both quick and strong enough to zone him off in the run game. He aligns in a wide-three technique on pass rush downs and guards can’t handle him blowing past them, going up the field. — Harris

30. Minnesota Vikings

Team needs: Offensive line, CB, RB, WR

Pick: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

The Vikings overlook Mike Hughes’s off-field issues to make him a first-round pick. He certainly has first-round talent, and it’s clear that he is capable of helping a Minnesota defense that needed reinforcements in the secondary. — Maske

What he brings: You want a fast player? Hughes will give you that. I love his return game acumen and his transitional quickness — his ability to run with receivers up and down the field — is hard to find. He’s patient with his feet and hands in press coverage and doesn’t panic or lose his leverage when he’s pressed. He gets a little lazy in his backpedal at times. He reminds me of Kevin Johnson (Texans) when Johnson came out of Wake Forest. — Harris

31. New England Patriots

Team needs: Pass rusher, WR, QB, LB, offensive line, CB

Pick: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

The Patriots, with the second of their two first-rounders, add a play-maker to their backfield on offense by getting Sony Michel. He is a big-play threat and he could have a sizable role immediately after the departure of Dion Lewis. — Maske

What he brings: Michel is chiseled out of marble, but he’s also laterally quick – shockingly so. He runs through arm tackles and doesn’t appear to be near the same size as his teammate Nick Chubb but he’s close. He’s also an excellent receiver that can be effective in the screen game and on short/intermediate routes. He’s not quite as powerful running inside as Chubb or Derrius Guice (LSU) or Saquon Barkley (Penn State), but he can run effectively inside. — Harris

32. Baltimore Ravens (from Philadelphia)

Team needs: Pass rusher, offensive line, LB

Pick: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

It’s five quarterbacks in the opening round as the Ravens trade up for pick No. 32 and take Lamar Jackson. Remember at the NFL scouting combine when there was talk of Jackson working out at wide receiver? That’s a distant memory now. He’s a first-round choice as a quarterback and he becomes the successor-in-waiting to Joe Flacco in Baltimore. The Eagles trade down out of the first round. — Maske

What he brings: Jackson is E-LEC-TRIC with the ball in his hands and that gives defensive coordinators nightmares. His throwing mechanics cause him issues — stands too tall and gets no drive off his backside — but he has an extremely strong arm. That combination forces the ball to sail on him, especially on routes over the middle. Now, ask any defensive coordinator which player he fears on every single play in this draft class and he’ll tell you “Jackson, without a doubt.”  — Harris

Best remaining players

Washington Post draft analyst John Harris ranks best available players at the start of Round 2.

Josh Jackson, cornerback, Iowa (6-1, 192)
Top 50 rank: 13

Take one look at his one-handed interception against Ohio State and tell me he’s not one of the best picks in the draft pool. Look, he’s not a 4.32 burner like Denzel Ward but his length and ball skills make up for that. Furthermore, Jackson read and undercut routes with the confidence of a cat burglar. He ran 4.52 at his pro day, which won’t win any medals, but his length makes up for that a bit, even if he has to take some educated risks in coverage.

Harold Landry, edge, Boston College (6-3, 252)
Top 50 rank: 19

It’s easy to think that because Landry was productive, when healthy, and doesn’t have quite the upside of, say, Marcus Davenport, he’ll be limited going forward. That’s erroneous thinking because Landry seemingly has just scratched the surface of being a complete pass rusher. In college, he often won with speed and a rip under to get the quarterback, but if he can expand his tool kit, he’s going to be a star off the edge for a while.

Derrius Guice, running back, LSU (5-10, 224)
Top 50 rank: 20 

Guice can make defenders miss as well as power through them, running angry as he noted at the combine. He said that he looked up to Marshawn Lynch (Raiders) and that’s evident when watching Guice run. He’s also blessed with enough wiggle to get to the second and third level without powering through two or three defenders like Leonard Fournette. Guice’s style is less demanding and he’ll be a better receiver out of the backfield as well. Fournette will get the early glory as he did at LSU, but Guice will carve out a strong career following in the footsteps of his hero, Beast Mode.

Will Hernandez, guard, Texas-El Paso (6-2, 327)
Top 50 rank: 21

Marry the assets/liabilities of Mike Iupati (Cardinals) and Richie Incognito (formerly of the Bills) and voilà, it’s Hernandez. He probably would’ve thrived in the 1980s/1990s NFL when the run game was the focus of most offenses but he’ll still succeed in this nouveau riche, fancy NFL. He’s a mauler at the point of attack and like Incognito, he has a love for on field violence.

Courtland Sutton, wide receiver, SMU (6-3, 218)
Top 50 rank: 24

Sutton gives me a Julio Jones (Falcons) vibe, given his size and ability to run away from secondaries with ease. The first time I saw him I immediately thought of Julio and the impact his size, speed and athleticism have had on the Falcons’ offense. Sutton isn’t as dynamic, but he has similar physical assets and wins in the passing game in a similar manner.

Nick Chubb, running back, Georgia (5-11, 227)
Top 50 rank: 28

At Georgia, Chubb didn’t have to be on the field much on third down because his Sony Michel was the consummate third-down option. So teams will have to forecast what he can do versus using prior history. His freshman season at Georgia he did have 18 receptions before Michel became more a part of the offense and stole the show in the passing game, so to speak. Worst case, Chubb is going to be a factor in the screen game and if he can master pass protection early in his career, there’s little question that he can be an all-around, three-down back.

Dallas Goedert, tight end, South Dakota State (6-5, 260)
Top 50 rank: 29

Would teams want a younger version of Travis Kelce (Chiefs)? Of course, they would. How much does Kelce actually align as an in-line Y-tight end? Not often. Goedert was similar at South Dakota State. He aligned in nearly every pass catching position possible and caught everything thrown his way. He was asked to block infrequently but was willing to get physical. Let’s be clear, though: He’s going to be overmatched a bit in that realm as a rookie, but there are few in the league that can match his receiving acumen. The mismatches that he creates in the passing game are more valuable than his ability as a run blocker.

Connor Williams, tackle/guard, Texas (6-5, 296)
Top 50 rank: 30

The underlying question is whether Williams is indeed a tackle. He weighed less than 300 pounds and had the shortest arms of all the linemen at the combine. The lack of size wouldn’t be concerning if he wasn’t susceptible to power off the edge. He doesn’t play with a ton of pop in his pads and that would be a worry at guard. That said, his pass protection technique/footwork is excellent. For a tackle. That’s his best fit at the next level.

Mike Gesicki, tight end, Penn State (6-5, 247)
Top 50 rank: 31

Quick, name the best blocking tight end in the league? I’m not going to wait for you because we’ll be here all day. Consequently, there’s tremendous value in being a move/flex tight end in this new world NFL. The tight end position has evolved in a such drastic way over the past seven or eight years, in particular, and a tight end’s ability to run block takes a back seat to his contributions in the passing game. If Gesicki is put in a position to have to block the edge in the running game a majority of the time, he’s certainly not being utilized in a proper manner. Like Goedert, he’s more Travis Kelce (Chiefs) and Zach Ertz (Eagles) than he is an old school, hand-in-the-dirt tight end. As such, certain teams with a tight end need don’t make sense for Gesicki.

Ronald Jones, running back, USC (5-11, 205)
Top 50 rank: 32

All it takes is one team to fall in love with the next Jamaal Charles (formerly of the Chiefs). He has Charles-like explosive abilities and that may outweigh any off-the-field damage.

James Daniels, center, Iowa (6-3, 306)
Top 50 rank: 36

The Hawkeyes’ starting center toiled in anonymity for a team that only beat one ranked team during the season. The two-year junior starter didn’t even earn first-, second- or third-team all-Big Ten honors in 2017. He declared early, catching analysts off guard, but it was the right move. He has physically strong hands and controls defenders in pass protection when he has hands on them. He’s strong as an ox, quick off his snap and excels in zone game running responsibilities.

Christian Kirk, wide receiver, Texas A&M (5-10, 201)
Top 50 rank: 37

For some reason, being labeled a slot receiver is some sort of slap in the face but that’s where Kirk thrives. He was still a deep threat as he often ran slot fades or post routes from that inside position. That’s the difference Kirk provides from the slot. More than likely, he’ll get matched up on a slot corner or a safety and he can exploit those cover guys repeatedly. So, yes, he should play inside, alongside an established No. 1 outside receiver, and should catch 75 passes or more in the process as a rookie.

James Washington, wide receiver, Oklahoma State (5-11, 213)
Top 50 rank: 39

Heading into the Senior Bowl, I knew without hesitation that Washington could fly. He was a deep ball waiting to happen at Oklahoma State. He exploded past defenders in the Big 12 and then he did the same thing at the Senior Bowl. He made plays in the deep passing game every week he stepped on the field. Then, he got to the combine and ran a rather pedestrian 4.54 in the all-important 40-yard dash. That complicated his analysis for some, but given his deep ball tracking skills, smooth speed and big play ability, he’s an immediate deep threat for an NFL team. It won’t be the volume of catches, but the quality of catches, that’ll define Washington’s early career in the NFL.

Maurice Hurst, defensive tackle, Michigan (6-2, 292)
Top 50 rank: 40

Hurst is as quick off the ball as Taven Bryan but if he didn’t win with quickness off the snap, he struggled. Against Ohio State, Billy Price and the Buckeyes guards presented a ton of issues for Hurst. Hurst should be a solid second-round pick, at the latest, and if he ends up in a 4-3, he’s got a chance to be very productive.

Isaiah Oliver, cornerback, Colorado (6-1, 190)
Top 50 rank: 42

The 2016 Buffs secondary was one of the most impressive groups in the nation with three players drafted overall. Furthermore, the two starting cornerbacks — Chidobe Awuzie (Cowboys) and Ahkello Witherspoon (49ers) — were taken in the first three rounds of the 2017 draft. When the Buffs played nickel, Oliver moved outside to cover the opponent’s best receivers, while Awuzie moved inside to the slot. Oliver moved into the starting lineup permanently in 2017 and starred, earning first-team all-Pac 12 honors. He’s long, smooth and fluid, possessing prototype NFL cornerback dimensions.

Sam Hubbard, edge, Ohio State (6-5, 270)
Top 50 rank: 43

There isn’t any one thing that’ll stand out about Hubbard’s game. He does a number of things really well, but he doesn’t have elite traits. He’s not a dynamic speed-to-power player like Joey Bosa (Chargers) or Nick Bosa (next year’s top-five pick). He’s not a power end. Yet, he’s smart and disciplined and plays his guts out on every play. He will be a solid Day 2 selection.

Carlton Davis, cornerback, Auburn (6-1, 203)
Top 50 rank: 44

He didn’t blaze the 40 at the combine, but 4.5 at his size is more than adequate. What’s missing, then? I loved watching him get physical with receivers and I even saw him drive receivers right out of bounds with one arm in press coverage. Yet when he missed the jam or was ineffective, he often lost a receiver in coverage. With space and separation, he struggled. If he hugged up on a receiver, he was like Velcro. If a team is going to ask him to play off or zone, it must understand his limitations outside of playing press man coverage.

Kerryon Johnson, running back, Auburn (5-11, 213)
Top 50 rank: 45

Johnson has an uncanny knack of staying patient on his runs until the exact moment where he bursts through to the second level. The Auburn offense really went into the tank when Johnson got injured late in the Iron Bowl win over Alabama. He put that offense on his back for most of the year and his patient running style was a significant reason he flourished and will again in the NFL.

Orlando Brown Jr., offensive tackle, Oklahoma (6-8, 345)
Top 50 rank: 48

Don’t watch him lift. Don’t watch him run a 40-yard dash. Take an in-depth look. He’s the son of the former NFL tackle of the same name and has an NFL game. It doesn’t always look pretty but he gets the job done. He doesn’t move with the swiftness of Tyron Smith (Cowboys) nor does he have the feet of Jason Peters (Eagles) but he has arms for days and he knows how to use them. He may not play left tackle, but he can play the position at the next level. Really.

Ronnie Harrison, safety, Alabama (6-3, 214)
Top 50 rank: 49

Harrison was a former high school quarterback but played a lot like a linebacker in his college days. When he played near the line of scrimmage, he was a heat-seeking missile and seemed comfortable in that role. However, when he played deep in coverage, he seemed comfortable playing half field zone coverage, reading routes and staying on top of the receivers. I do worry about him a bit in man coverage; then again, he’s not going to be matched up on receivers man-to-man much of that time, if at all. If he’s utilized as he was at Alabama, he’ll be a factor near the line of scrimmage on third down, blitzing or covering a running back or tight end. I would certainly not put a “just a box safety” title on him, but don’t expect him to be an Eric Berry or Earl Thomas coverage savant either.

Mason Rudolph, quarterback, Oklahoma State (6-4, 229)
Top 50 rank: 50

Some want to put him on the same level with the five quarterbacks ahead of him, but he’s not in that class. He has touch on his goal line fades and was accurate on the deep ball at Oklahoma State. But the throws that he needs to make in the intermediate areas of the field were concerning. Watching Bedlam 2017 (Oklahoma at Oklahoma State), it was clear that there was a gap between Baker Mayfield and Rudolph. Mayfield didn’t miss all day long and hit on numerous types of throws. Rudolph was inconsistent, dropping a dime on a deep ball for a touchdown, followed up with inaccuracy in the middle of the field.

John Harris contributes to The Washington Post’s NFL draft coverage. He is the sideline reporter and football analyst for the Houston Texans and owner of footballtakeover.com.

DRAFT PREP

D.J. Moore goes to Panthers, Maryland’s first first-round selection since Darrius Heyward-Bey

Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold are draft’s safest bets at quarterback

The best possible draft fits for the top 15 prospects

It’s a quarterback-heavy draft, but the best prospects aren’t QBs

Will the 2018 quarterback class go down as memorable? Or memorably disappointing?

While Shaquem Griffin took on football with one hand, his twin brother has always had his back

Likely first-rounder D.J. Moore is in rare air for Maryland NFL draft hopefuls

Josh Rosen is Jewish and a millennial. Does the NFL care?

Rising NFL draft QB Kyle Lauletta hangs on to college snubs: ‘That stuff sticks with me’

The Road to the NFL

The Washington Post examines the NFL’s top offseason event from five key vantage points.

Part 1: Part job fair, part spring break trip, part time warp: Welcome to the NFL’s weirdest week

Part 2: NFL draft analysis is a cottage industry — and everyone wants to join the neighborhood

Part 3: ‘Super agents’ rep 75 percent of NFL players. It’s a competitive fight to sign the rest.

Part 4: For NFL hopefuls, the exhaustive draft process can ‘seem like horse trading’

Part 5: John Schneider built the Seahawks’s Super Bowl roster. He’s starting again in the 2018 draft.





Source link

Share.

Leave A Reply